LA's cost of living is 7% above state and 51% above national levels. Our blog provides details on household expenses, as well as a student-specific section.
Sr. Content Editor
Last Updated: 27.02.2023
Housing in Los Angeles, CA is 132% pricier than the U.S average. Check the section below to learn about the average house cost and rental rates.
LA metro's single-family home median sales price hit $750,000 in September (double national median), per California Association of Realtors.
Los Angeles consistently ranks among the country's top 10 costliest cities, and even residing beyond the city limits entails coping with California's expensive lifestyle.
Buyers in Orange County must meet an even higher minimum income requirement, an alarming $162,000.
Redfin reports lower prices of $625k in downtown LA (as of September) and suggests considering cost-effective suburbs like Baldwin Park and Montebello.
To afford a median-priced single-family home in Los Angeles County, you'll need an annual income of approximately $127,000, states a recent California Association of Realtors report.
Redfin data reveals that downtown LA's price tag is lower at $625k as of September.
In 2021, the average closing costs in California were 1% of the purchase price. Therefore, for a $750k home, you can expect another $7,500 in expenses before receiving the keys.
California's average property tax appears low at 0.76%, but due to high home values, the annual bill can exceed $6,000 based on median home values, despite being lower than other states.
LA studio rentals average $1,695/month.
A 4-bedroom rental costs $9,300 per month.
All currently available listings have a median price of $3,395.
That translates to roughly $41 per square feet.
Median rents for apartment units and housing in February 2023 have decreased over the past year.
Year-over-year, studio rental prices have dropped by $418 or 20.70% from $2,018 to $1,600.
One-bedroom rentals have seen a year-over-year decrease of $215 (-8.58%) from $2,510 to $2,295.
2-bedroom rental prices have slightly risen by $11 (0.33%) over the past year, from $3,334 to $3,345.
Year-over-year, 3-bedroom rental prices have gone up by $452, or 10.04%, from $4,498 to $4,950.
The prices of 4-bedroom rentals have increased by $1,052 (15.58%) from $6,748 to $7,800 year-over-year.
This month, studio rents have increased by 1.16%, while 1-bedroom rents have decreased by 5.56%. 2-bedroom rents have gone up by 0.40%.
3-bedroom rents increased by 4.21% this month, while 4-bedroom rents increased by 14.01%.
Despite having a comprehensive public transportation network that covers nearly every corner of the Greater Los Angeles region through subways, light-rail, buses, and shuttles, the cost of transportation in Los Angeles is 26% higher than the national average. In this section, you can find all the relevant information regarding the average transportation costs.
84% of people in Los Angeles drive to work for their daily commute.
Only 6% take public transit.
Over the past year, gas prices in Los Angeles have been approximately one dollar per gallon higher than the national average, making them some of the highest in the country.
Between June 2019 and June 2020, the price of gas in LA varied from $2.75 to $4.25 per gallon, ultimately averaging around $3 per gallon by the end of that period. Among US states, only Hawaii had higher average gas prices than LA.
For Metro, the regular boarding fare is $1.75 per ride for a single trip, but passengers can also opt for a $7 day pass if needed. A weekly pass is available for $25 per rider, while a monthly pass is priced at $100 presently.
Drivers in Los Angeles spend a significant amount of time on the highways, and they also incur substantial expenses for insuring their vehicles.
On average, car insurance in Los Angeles costs $1,964.
Compared to the national average for comprehensive insurance, this is $537 more in Los Angeles.
The average cost for comprehensive insurance nationwide is $1,427.
Los Angeles' public transportation system provides bus and rail services for a single ride at a cost of $1.75.
The cost of monthly passes starts at $100 in Los Angeles.
The cost of monthly passes is $122 with express bus service.
The cost of monthly passes in Los Angeles is comparable to nearby San Francisco, where the price is $98.
It is less expensive than in New York City ($127).
According to INRIX, drivers in and around Los Angeles spent 102 hours combating traffic congestion during peak hours in 2017.
In contrast, New York City drivers encountered 91 hours of peak-hour congestion, placing it in the third spot on the INRIX list.
Food is a crucial necessity, and its cost can differ across the nation. This section comprises the costs of everyday food items, such as produce, meat, and dairy. In terms of basic necessities like food, groceries in Los Angeles, CA are approximately 13% more expensive than in the rest of the country.
An average resident of Los Angeles can anticipate spending $375 per month on food.
Prices in Los Angeles are still higher than those in many other regions, with an average resident of Los Angeles expected to pay roughly 13% more for groceries than the average American.
This implies that if the average US household spends $5,259 per year on groceries, the average household in Los Angeles spends $5,942.
A loaf of bread costs $3.86.
A gallon of milk costs $2.47.
A cartoon of eggs costs $1.75.
A bunch of bananas costs $3.74.
A hamburger costs $5.29.
You can get tacos for only $1.50-$2 each.
However, a meal in one of the fancier restaurants in the city can cost around $38.
This amount is 28% less than the cost of the same meal in New York City.
In Los Angeles, sales tax of 9.5% will be added to the total bill.
One kilogram of local cheese costs $13.25.
A 1.5 liter bottle of water costs $2.02.
Los Angeles provides access to excellent quality produce at a relatively reasonable price for home cooks.
Groceries are usually exempt from sales tax, and the prices of basic grocery items such as eggs, milk, and bread are comparable to those found in other regions of the country.
Whether you own or rent a property, there will be utility expenses to consider. These costs typically involve essential services such as energy and telecommunications.
Californians enjoy a slight advantage when it comes to utilities.
According to a 2022 ranking, California ranked 35th in the United States for average monthly utility bills.
The average Californian pays $138.16 for their monthly electric bill.
Nationwide, it is $142.56 .
On the other hand, natural gas prices in California are slightly above the national average.
The cost of phone bills can vary depending on the plan selected. On average, residents of Los Angeles pay around $109 for their monthly phone bill.
ApartmentList reports that the average total essential utility bill, which includes electricity, gas, fuel, and water, for Los Angeles is $245.67 per month.
The cost of internet with speeds of 60 Mbps or more, unlimited data, and cable/ADSL in LA is $66.42.
In December 2022, the average price of gasoline in Los Angeles was $4.610 per gallon.
In December 2022, the average electricity cost for households in the Los Angeles area was 26.0 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh).
This higher than the 24.0 cents price per kWh paid in December 2021.
In December, the average cost of piped gas utility was $2.059 per therm, which is higher than the cost of $1.625 per therm in the previous year.
In December 2022, the average cost for electricity in Los Angeles households was 26.0 cents per kWh, which is 57.6 percent higher than the national average of 16.5 cents per kWh.
In December of last year, electricity costs in Los Angeles were 69.0% higher than the national average.
Los Angeles area consumers have consistently paid more for electricity in the month of December over the past five years, with prices exceeding the U.S. average by 36.3% or more.
In December 2022, Los Angeles area consumers paid $2.059 per therm for utility (piped) gas, which is commonly known as natural gas. This price was 23.5 percent higher than the national average of $1.667 per therm for the same month.
Los Angeles households paid 57.6% more for electricity in December 2022 than the nationwide average, with an average cost of 26.0 cents per kWh compared to 16.5 cents per kWh.
Electricity costs in Los Angeles were 69.0 percent higher than the national average in December of last year.
Over the past five years, Los Angeles area consumers have paid electricity prices that were at least 36.3 percent higher than the U.S. average during the month of December.
In December 2022, Los Angeles area consumers paid $2.059 per therm for utility (piped) gas, commonly referred to as natural gas, which was 23.5 percent higher than the national average of $1.667 per therm.
In Los Angeles, healthcare services such as doctor check-ups and dentistry are priced 10% higher than the national average.
Based on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, MIT has estimated that a single full-time working adult in Los Angeles spends up to $2,288 per year on healthcare.
A family comprising of two adults and a child in Los Angeles may incur healthcare expenses up to $7,559 per year.
A household with elderly and children will typically have higher overall healthcare costs compared to a household occupied by two young adults.
A typical healthcare expenditure in Los Angeles is 10% more expensive compared to the national average.
A typical doctor's visit in Los Angeles costs around $121.67.
A dentist’s visit costs $104.53.
The monthly cost of healthcare coverage provided by an employer for a single individual is $653.
The monthly cost of healthcare coverage provided by an employer for a family is $1,717.
The monthly cost of healthcare coverage for an individual not sponsored by an employer is $456.
The monthly cost of healthcare coverage for a couple with at least one child and not sponsored by an employer is $1,152.
In Los Angeles, California, the minimum combined sales tax rate for 2023 is 9.5%, which includes the sales tax rates for the state, county, and city.
At present, the sales tax rate in California is 6%.
The sales tax rate for the County is 0.25%.
The sales tax rate for Los Angeles is not 0%.
The average salary for tax-related jobs in Los Angeles, CA is $92,771, which is 3% higher than the national average salary of $90,015 for such jobs.
Compared to the combined average salaries of other metropolitan areas such as San Francisco, CA, Dallas, TX, and Denver, CO, this pay is 21% lower.
Los Angeles is a popular city in the United States known for its rich culture, traditions, and diverse job opportunities that attract expats as well as students seeking higher education.
The average cost of living for a family in Los Angeles is $5,128.
The average cost of living for students in Los Angeles is $2,709.
The average cost of living for a single person (bachelor) in Los Angeles is $2,109.
The monthly rental expenses for a family of three and a couple is $5,001.
The average monthly rental expenses for international students in Los Angeles is $2,709.
The cost for one person is $2001.
The cost of living in Los Angeles varies significantly based on location, with the average monthly rent for a flat/house in a normal area being $3958.
Tuition expenses differ among schools, including those in Los Angeles and its neighboring regions. Opting for a private college or being an out-of-state resident typically leads to increased fees.
The annual cost for in-state tuition is $4,734.
The cost of out-of-state tuition is $24,526 per academic year.
The typical student utility bill comprises charges for electricity and water.
The average monthly cost of utilities in Los Angeles falls in the range of $60-130.
A monthly internet plan can be priced between $30 and $70.
Typically, a phone plan's monthly cost ranges from $50 to $80.
Several universities in LA provide campus meal plans for students, including USC and UCLA, which cost $2,860 and $3,810 per semester, respectively.
In LA, a fast food meal typically falls in the range of $6 to $8, whereas groceries usually cost around $400 to $500 per month.
The majority of universities in Los Angeles provide an estimated cost of $1,000 to $2,000 per year for books and supplies.
For certain courses, the cost of a single textbook for a single semester can exceed $200.
For access to Metro rail and bus services, a public transit pass costs $25 per week.
Alternatively, when driving, the cost of gas ranges from $3 to $5 per gallon, averaging out at around $100 per month.